China Confirms Three Human Cases of Avian Influenza A(H5N6)
The Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health announced on July 23, 2021, closely monitoring three human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) in the China Mainland.
From 2014 to date, thirty-five human cases of avian influenza A(H5N6) have been reported by Mainland health authorities.
The first case involved a 51-year-old woman living in Xuanhan in Sichuan Province who contacted live domestic poultry before the onset of symptoms. She developed symptoms on June 25th and passed away on July 4th.
The second case involved a 57-year-old man living in Kaijiang in Sichuan Province who had contact with live domestic poultry before onset. The patient is in critical condition.
The third case involved a 66-year-old man living in Tongnan in Chongqing Municipality who had contact with live domestic poultry before onset. The patient is in critical condition.
The CHP stated in a press statement, 'Travellers to the Mainland or other affected areas must avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms.'
'They should be alert to the presence of backyard poultry when visiting relatives and friends. They should also avoid purchasing live or freshly slaughtered poultry and avoid touching poultry/birds or their droppings. In addition, they should strictly observe personal and hand hygiene when visiting any place with live poultry.'
And 'travelers returning from affected areas should consult a doctor promptly if symptoms develop, and inform the doctor of their travel history for prompt diagnosis and treatment of potential diseases. In addition, it is essential to tell the doctor if they have seen any live poultry during travel, which may imply possible exposure to contaminated environments.'
While local surveillance, prevention, and control measures are in place, the CHP will remain vigilant and work closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and relevant health authorities to monitor the latest developments.
The WHO says Zoonotic influenza refers to diseases caused by animal influenza viruses, such as Bird Flu and Swine Flu. People can be infected with various influenza viruses circulating in animals, such as avian influenza virus subtypes A(H5N1) and A(H9N2) and swine influenza virus subtypes A(H1N1) and (H3N2).